Satisfaction with facial profile aesthetics: are norms overrated?

Published:September 05, 2017DOI:


      This study aimed to explore to what extent adults perceive deviations from the norm of a balanced profile with normal occlusion as reducing satisfaction with facial appearance and having a psychosocial impact. This cross-sectional study included 225 Caucasian subjects (64% women) aged 18–42 years. Their facial profiles were analyzed photogrammetrically and they were classified into three categories: within, below, or above the standard range for the Croatian population with a normal occlusion. Psychosocial issues were assessed by self-reported satisfaction with facial appearance and domains from the Orthognathic Quality of Life Questionnaire: social aspects of dentofacial aesthetics (SA), facial aesthetics concern (FA), and awareness of dentofacial aesthetics (AW). Men with a concave profile were less satisfied with their faces than those with a flat or convex profile (P< 0.05). A reduced upper lip height in men resulted in a lower level of satisfaction and increased FA score, when compared to men with a normal or increased upper lip height (P< 0.05). In women, a reduced middle third of the face increased AW (P = 0.045). Deviations from a well-balanced facial profile, as well as the morphology of the nose and lip, do not increase psychosocial issues to a great extent. The range of acceptable facial characteristics is evidently much broader than the norms.

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